Recorded on April 20, 1939 Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” spoke of the haunting imagery all to familiar to African Americans especially in the South. Holiday’s voice and cadence embodied the sorrows, horrors, loss, and spiritual pain that was lynching. The lyrics of “Strange Fruit,” which became Holiday’s signature song, was written as a poem by Jewish writer and teacher Abel Meeropol in 1937. He responded in poetry to a photo image of a lynching. Meeropol hoped his poem would add voice the atrocities of lynchings and help further the campaign of antilynching laws, which were vigorously shot down in the Senate during era of the song’s popularity.
This is AAMAM. Listen to remember and be well.